Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Joyce Hatto and the Piano Con

There's a totally fascinating story over at MSNBC titled "To Catch a Sneak: The inside story of the digital sleuthing that exposed Britain’s greatest pianist as a fraud.

That pianist, in case you're wondering, is Joyce Hatto. Here's an excerpt from the story:
By the time Joyce Hatto died of ovarian cancer at age 77, she had released 119 albums. Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin—every one of them had been mastered. She was called the greatest pianist that no one had ever heard of. Fame finally came posthumously, but not for her virtuosity at the ivories. In February it was discovered that each of her brilliant records was very likely to have been plagiarized. Put on a Joyce Hatto CD and you'll really hear Yefim Bronfman, John O'Conor, Vladimir Ashkenazy and dozens more, but not Joyce Hatto. Fittingly, the Hatto myth unraveled much in the same way it was created: with a little enterprising digital tinkering.

It was a remarkable con, and the twists and turns of the story are intriguing. The story is here, and there are links inside the story to articles that explain (in detail) how the fraud was discovered.

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